TAR - Angels & Demons

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ZedF
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TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:58 pm

"Well, it's official now," Maria Velaquez began, continuing the conversation she'd been having with her brother as they continued to climb the large hill -- more of a small mountain, really -- on which Chi Draconis's first (and so far only) observatory stood. Jose thought he detected a sigh in her voice, or would have if she hadn't been out of breath from the climb; she wasn't as used to traipsing around at this elevation as he was. He paused to let her catch her breath so she could continue. "The results from the last NMR scan of the crust came in. There are no significant deposits of precious metals anywhere on the planet."

Jose snorted; his sister's fascination with metal jewellry was a running joke amongst the family. The only examples of it were those that had been originally brought from Earth. "We've known that for a long time now. Almost a generation," he replied.

"Yes, but now there's proof. I hate having to give up hope on something that I really want. We've all had to give up so many things..." she continued, trailing off and frowning slightly in concentration. "What was the reason again? It's slipped my mind."

"It has to do with supernovae," Jose smiled, giving a hint, knowing that only that much would be necessary; his sister was a smart cookie.

"Right! Cold zones and hot zones. You explained before," she continued aloud to reinforce the memory. "Elements heavier than iron only form in the cores of stars and are ejected and spread about the galaxy when those stars go supernova. Too few supernovae nearby and you're in a cold zone, where common elements might be abundant, but any planets that form will still be very poor in heavier elements. Too many and you're in a hot zone, where planets are wealthy with heavier elements but also have high background radioactivity. Earth is in between, which is why life could evolve with a healthy mutation rate, and not get blasted away by cosmic radiation."

Jose Velaquez nodded. "And Chi Draconis -- all of Athena's Necklace, for that matter -- is smack in the middle of a large cold zone. Which explains why there's no gold or silver for your jewellry," Jose teased playfully.

"No copper for wiring, no tungsten for lightbulbs, or a lot of other things that matter more than jewellry, either," Maria rejoined, a bit sharply. "Not that we can't make do without, because we have to, but it certainly makes life harder than it otherwise might have been. Heart disease, stillbirths, and immune system deficiencies are bigger problems than ever due to inadequate dietary copper and zinc. I wonder if our ancestors knew how hard things might be when they set out for Athena's Necklace in the first place?" she asked, sitting on a large rock on the barren, windswept mountainside to ease her feet.

Jose sat beside her, looking down into the valley that contained Chi Draconis's capital city, relieving himself of the burden of the picnic basket he'd been carrying, and appreciating the view. But he shook his head at his sister's question. "Doubtful. They were set on escaping the Hiver and Tarka wars; I think they were more concerned about getting away as far and as fast as possible than they were about exactly where they wound up. Since we haven't heard a peep from SolForce, the Hivers, or the Tarka since our ancestors arrived here, I guess they succeeded. Still, what I wonder is how those wars eventually turned out." He looked up at the radio telescope atop the hill wistfully.

"We might have gotten here by node drive, but radio signals are still limited to light speed," Maria remarked, following his gaze. "Unless we build our own node-capable ship and retrace our ancestors' course, we'll probably have to wait another generation to find out. Or, I suppose we could get a visitor," she added.

Jose turned and gave his sister a queer look. "Funny you should mention..." he began, but trailed off.

"What? Are you finally getting around to telling me why you insisted upon my coming along for this little hike of yours? One of your colleagues at the observatory dying to meet me?" A smile played at the corner of her lips.

"Not exactly." Jose stood, grabbed the picnic basket, and continued along the faint trail they had been following, beckoning his sister to follow. It wasn't much longer before they reached the cave in the side of the mountain. "Look in, and tell me what you see."

Maria's initial reaction was to roll her eyes, but there was a certain tension in Jose's own that stopped her. Instead she gave Jose a concerned look, but did as he asked. "Tell me we aren't disturbing the slumber of some wild animal up here -- Madre de Dios!" Maria fell back out of the cave, against her brother, and crossed herself.

"So, you see him too. I was worried I might be going crazy," Jose sighed in a kind of odd relief.

"Is he really..." Maria began, but couldn't finish.

"An angel? I don't know. He certainly looks the part, but from the way he speaks I'm not so certain. And I don't know why an angel would want to eat fresh fruit, in particular," he added, lifting in gesture the picnic basket he'd been carrying.

"You've spoken with him?" Maria gasped, still astonished by the experience.

"Yes, well, it was a little overwhelming the first time," he admitted. "But from our conversations I have gathered the impression he's not so much concerned with heavenly things as celestial ones, if you can appreciate the distinction. He's not quite an angel as we conceptualize them; rather, he's more of a traveler amongst the stars."

"That assessment would be accurate," the beautiful winged man said, emerging from the cave. "Do not be afraid; I have no wish to deceive you on this particular matter. I have chosen this seeming for your comfort, more than for any other reason. To see me as I truly am might be unnerving to you, and I have no desire to give a bad first impression. Especially not to a beautiful and accomplished woman," he added, smiling. "My name is Abriele. Please, come in, out of the wind. While I find it refreshing, I imagine you must find it rather chilly."

"Accomplished..." Maria began, before trailing off, as Jose followed the winged stranger back into the cave, into a rude seating area, whereupon he placed the basket on a large stone that seemed meant to act as a table, and seated himself on a rough log bench. Maria did likewise, as the stranger examined the fruit in the basket with obvious pleasure. "What has my brother told you about me?"

"Very little," replied the angelic figure. "Your name, Maria. That you were both handsome and intelligent. That you had studied history. And that you were involved in local politics and governance, in some capacity. It was for the latter reason that I knew I had to meet you."

"Oh?" She glanced at her brother. Having at last overcome her shock, he could almost see the wheels beginning to turn once again in her mind as she glanced once more at Abriele. "Why is that?"

"I have been chosen to bring tidings, although I am afraid it is not good news," he replied, looking toward Jose. "You have said that the telescope atop this mountain is but newly operational. Have you been able to scan the coordinates I specified?"

Jose nodded solemnly. "Immediately upchain from us, along the Necklace, there are a number of stars from which I can detect faint Tarkaform radio emissions."

"What?!?" Maria interjected, almost shouting. "How come --"

"I only confirmed it today, sister," Jose interrupted, before continuing in an apologetic tone. "The report hasn't yet been written, much less reviewed and corroborated by my peers and passed along. And that's not all. Downchain from us I detected worlds emanating in a pattern I'd never seen before, but further than that, there are more worlds broadcasting Hiverform emissions. However, upchain from the Tarka and downchain from the Hivers, I detected emissions from nothing other than the stars themselves."

Image

"It is this last that is most troublesome," the beautiful stranger added quietly, "because only a few short years ago, emissions from Hiver and Tarka colonies could have been detected coming from those clusters, as well. Something has silenced them."

Maria pushed aside her irritation at not having been informed sooner, and focused instead on the message itself. "What do you propose has done that?" she asked.

"What hides in the depths of space, consuming all in its path?" Abriele asked rhetorically. "Zuligi. Reavers. Rippers of flesh and mind." He paused. "Demons, you might say. Even as they are our enemy, so they are the enemy of all life other than their own. And we have learned that this region of space, this Necklace as you call it, is bordered by other regions their Horde has come to dominate. They are now spreading here, and will devour all in their path if not stopped."

Maria's eyebrows raised. "And what will you do?"

Abriele seemed to shrug. "Though our influence in the Necklace is small, we will fight, as we must, to defend our interests."

Maria nodded, before her lips pursed in calculation once again. "So, you must be here not only to bring news, but also to attempt to recruit allies, yes?" She paused only long enough to see Abriele grimace at his motive being uncovered so readily, and give a reluctant nod of confirmation. "But our colony was founded on religious principles, not military ones; we have no weapons. Formulating a response to such a threat would throw our government, our economy, our very way of living into disarray." She looked at her brother. "Taking such a drastic step on one person's say-so would hardly be the course of prudence. Yet I feel inclined to trust him. Why is that?"

"Because he's an angel?" Jose queried by way of reply, smiling slightly. "Beyond that and my upcoming report, what other evidence do you need?"

Maria pursed her lips in thought. "Show me your true form," she stated, "and I will decide where to take this from here."

To Jose's eyes, nothing much seemed to happen, other than Abriele considering the demand for several moments, then looking intently at Maria for several more. But Maria's eyes widened. "Quetzalcoatl," she murmured, which meant nothing to Jose but apparently did mean something to the seeming-angel, for his lips widened in a toothy grin.

Maria stood. "Very well, Abriele. Angels have always been sent to humanity's benefit. So, too, has legend always spoken of Quetzalcoatl as mankind's friend and occasional champion. So, for now, I will take you at your word."

"And?" asked Abriele, leadingly.

"And, I said I would decide where to take this from here. Fortunately, I am in a position to make such a decision. You know me as Maria, but more formally I am addressed as Mother Velaquez, and I hold a seat on the Conclave. I mentioned that this colony was founded on religious principles; while the Conclave does not govern directly, we hold a great deal of influence. You shall get the opportunity to tell them your story, and they shall get the opportunity to know your true identity. And then we shall see where matters lead from there."


-------------------------------------------------

Setup Details:
- 120 stars (20 spp) with 6LY star distance; default size, resources, randoms. 50/50 econ & research.
- Team 1: Morrigi & humans (player/normal AI), both 1PE, Morrigi/humans start with 6/0 techs
- Teams 2, 3: 10PE Zuul empires (difficult AI, map edges), start with 0 techs
- Team 4: Tarka, 1PE (difficult AI), default start
- Team 5: Hiver, 1PE (difficult AI), default start

Save file for the curious...
Last edited by ZedF on Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

ScoSteSal118
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Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ScoSteSal118 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:54 am

Very cool game construction and story conceit! Looking forward to more installments.

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Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by Torezu » Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:27 am

ScoSteSal118 wrote:Very cool game construction and story concept! Looking forward to more installments.

FTFY. :)

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Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ScoSteSal118 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:48 am

That too, but I was also going for the secondary meaning of the word conceit, "an elaborate or strained metaphor"/"an organizing theme or concept" (except without the rather negative connotation), to refer to the way that he presented it. Actually, I guess concept does the same job better, so thank you for that :oops: .

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Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:59 am

No problem, I understood what you meant. ;) Thanks for replying! :)
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

ZedF
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Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:33 am

Cygnus, T018

Lieutenant Esmee Milagre leaned against the bulkhead, her face pinched and drawn from fatigue and stress, as the remaining crew of the Santa Cruz floated across the gap between the mostly-wrecked destroyer and the fleet collier that had responded to the SAR call. Only once the last of them had boarded did she sit down, shivering, as the collier's crew buttoned up the boat. She felt the gentle push of the collier's drive thrust getting them underway, and shortly thereafter a figure crouched next to her: the boat's CO, one Sharona Chavez, sub-lieutenant, with a blanket to drape about her shoulders. "Hey, it's ok, you're safe now." A pause, concern evident on her face... but high command wanted answers. "What happened back there? Did you get a report out?"

A report? In the middle of that disaster? Esmee shook her head. Maybe a more experienced commander could have done, she reflected, but there *were* no experienced commanders. All the admirals back at Rigel were the armchair type; how could any of them know what combat was actually like? "It was... chaos," she began. "Not at first. We'd just arrived in-system and had started scanning for hostiles when the first bugs started swarming out of the belt. Not Hivers, something else -- like robotic bees or something."

"The swarm, the angels said to watch out for," Sharona nodded. "You were expecting them?"

Image

Esmee closed her eyes, then raised a hand and waggled it, dropping it again and clasping it in her lap before it could begin to shake. "Yes and no. We were expecting something like that. Our ships were equipped with the most accurate infrared lasers we have. We knocked out the first couple of them without too much difficulty. We spotted their hive in the asteroid belt, and steamed for it at best speed. Though we started taking hits from some kind of plasma weapon, for a while we held our own. But they just kept coming, more and more of them, faster than we could knock them out of the sky. We lost track of which ones we'd already landed hits on, and that's when things started getting really hairy; it was shoot whatever you can, whenever you can."

Image

She shook her head at that point, with a pained expression, before continuing. "The Nordstrom went down first, and then there was a hole in our command net and nobody to fill it. The heat on the rest of us just got worse from that point. We had to come about and get out of there, or none of us would have made it back. After that we locked our computers on automatic target resolution, hunkered down in the best protected parts of the ship we could find, and prayed."

Image

Sharona signed. "For what it's worth, scuttlebutt has it that the angels advised waiting and sending a larger fleet when more ships were ready. At least half again as much, double or more to be certain. They said they wouldn't go in themselves, even allowing for their high-tech beam weapons, with only a half-dozen ships. I don't know why that advice wasn't followed."

Esmee shrugged wearily. "Ramirez wanted to show what big cohones he has, by boldly sending us where angels fear to tread, I guess. With any luck, his ass will be the next one on the line. Anyway, you can feed him the data on this." She fished in a pocket and pulled out a data chip. "The Santa Cruz is crippled and almost out of fuel, but the scanners still work. I was able to take a dump of the core before we left; everything we were able to learn while adrift, waiting for pickup, is on there."

Sharona accepted the chip solemnly. "Whatever is on there can't be worth the cost."

Esmee grimaced, standing and looking out a porthole, toward the inner system and its largest planet. "Not hardly. Cygnus I is an arctic wasteland, and the others are worse. Maybe the angels might be interested, but I don't see humans wanting to live there anytime soon."

Sharona stood as well, not sure what to say. Finally she gave Esmee a brief hug, then left for the command deck. Esmee was still standing there when the scuttling charges went off, finally destroying what was left of her command. She shivered again, wrapped the blanket more closely about her, and went to find a quiet corner, hoping for sleep, and knowing it wouldn't come.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

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Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:30 am

T018

Although the house was built almost at the very top of the windward side of the mountain, nobody would have called it a chalet. It was built like a summer house, down by the shore, to catch the breezes -- or in this case, the frigid wind constantly blowing up and across the mountainside. The wide windows afforded a breathtaking view of the surrounding lowlands, and the climate control system maintained the oxygen level at a suitable level for relatively easy breathing, but there was no fire blazing in a hearth to keep the occupants warm, nor any kind of central heating at all. Neither was there any of the staff a chalet might have had.

The house wasn't a chalet. It wasn't even an embassy, though it had been built primarily for diplomatic reasons. Instead, it was more in the nature of a guest house -- somewhere for Abriele or other angels to rest and feel at least somewhat at home when they visited. And a brief visit was as much as the angels would endure at a time; their own preferred climate was still colder, drier, and more airless than even Rigellian mountaintops could provide.

Mother Maria Velaquez stamped the snow off her boots as she entered the guest house, but did not remove her parka. The other advantage of having built this residence in such a forbidding place, she reflected, is that it kept away most people who didn't have reason to be here. That, she considered wryly, and the helicopter ride though restricted airspace, which was the only way to reasonably get up to this elevation in the first place.

"I trust we have no unexpected visitors?" Abriele asked. "It amuses me that, although I could have attempted to maintain the illusion of being a religious figure once I met you, as I initially did with your brother, I chose not to because I knew such an illusion could not persist forever, and I valued your trust more than the illusion. And yet, you and your Conclave have chosen to retain that illusion for the sake of the rest of your people, which I could not have done without your assistance. I find it ironic."

Maria grimaced at the observation. "Well, perhaps it is. But do note that the truth is out there and available to anyone who wishes to make a point of it. We just encourage people to think of your race as angels -- to embrace the familiar imagery as a shorthand for the feelings we wish to inspire toward your people, rather than start building our cultural relationship purely from the ground up."

"And since your organization's influence is religiously-based, having the angels on your side can only increase your political power," Abriele observed in an amused tone.

Maria's eyebrows raised. "True enough, although there are still limits to what we can accomplish. Your observations regarding the proposed exploration of Cygnus were ignored, I fear. Casualties were high."

Abriele's amused tone quickly faded. "I am sorry to hear it."

"So was I,' Maria sighed, before entering the living room proper and seating herself on a couch. Abriele followed suit by walking over to a pole that had been placed there for the purpose, and wrapping his body about it, a maneuver which Maria still found peculiar despite his assurance that such a perch was quite comfortable to him. "Fortunately, I have good news to go with the bad. We have finished construction of our first extraplanetary settlement, at Polaris. And, what's more, we have made contact with some of our distant kin that we thought lost on our initial voyage to Athena's Necklace, decades ago. It turns out they survived to found a colony on a small world they called Serenity. I think what convinced them to join with us, more than the Tarka or Hivers or demons which might be our neighbors, was the evidence that we do indeed have angels on our side," she added, smiling slightly.

Image

"That is good news," Abriele agreed. "We likewise have made contact with distant kin from ages past, living in hiding at Melnitz. In fact, while this is an occasion for much rejoicing, it also has caused us some difficulties. Like you, we have encouraged our lost colony to join their cause to ours, but in order for this to occur we needed to procure suitable Tokens of alliance, and Melnitz has such a large population that many such Tokens were required. We have unfortunately had to suspend most of our planned expansion and research programs, including those to reactivate the ancient defense stations my people had once employed, in order to spend our efforts on amassing wealth and gathering these Tokens. Still, thanks in part to contributions from among your people, and those of another world we have visited, our alliance with our kin on Melnitz has now been cemented."

"Another world? Another human world?" Maria asked intently. "Where is this? It could be more of our lost kin, and our government might wish to contact them as soon as may be!"

"Ah, my apologies for not mentioning it sooner," Abriele answered. "The world is named Taosi, and it is not far, but neither is it especially near Rigel. In fact it is quite close to Xhicos, my birthplace. It is possible your ships may have some trouble reaching it, if you cannot yet bridge the gulf between the clusters with your node drive."

Image

"Could they have traveled all that distance via sublight?" Maria wondered. "What a harrowing journey that must have been! Well, Abriele, I will be certain to pass on this news, though I am not yet certain what, if anything, will be done about it. It may be simpler to develop improved drives to reach your cluster, than to send one of our ships to make a similar sublight journey ourselves. Will you attempt to convince the people of Taosi to join in alliance, as we have done?"

Abriele considered, but then demurred. "I don't believe so, since the people of that world have lost too much of their technology to be able to assist, and the climate is too hostile to our kind for us to be able to effectively introduce our own technology to them. Perhaps, when you are able to visit, you will be able to do easily what would be prohibitively costly for us."

Maria nodded. "Helping those poor souls out would certainly be something we would encourage our government to act quickly on."

Abriele shifted on his pillar. "In the meantime, now that our alliance with the people of Melnitz has been concluded, we have once again begun to look at resuming our programs of expansion. In particular, we have asked the people of that world to look upon the world you call Pollux as a seetlement opportunity. I trust that will not be a problem for your government?"

Maria paused to consider. She did not recall that name coming up on any recent list of potential colonies she'd heard of. "I don't see why it would be; it's a pretty desolate place as I recall."

"Fortunate, then, that our preferred climates are so divergent; by our standards, it seems quite hospitable," Abriele continued, before taking a darker tone. "We have also discovered ruins of our people amongst the moons of Majipoor. I suppose I should not be shocked to find that the local Hiver princess has encouraged her children to engage in grave-robbery. We were most distressed to find our property stolen and our forefathers' tombs defaced so. I had hoped to find potential allies against the Zuligi amongst the Hive, but perhaps it is not to be."

Maria set her lips grimly. "I don't imagine you will find many Hiver-lovers amongst your human allies, in any case, Abriele. We fled all this way out here, into the cold zone of Athena's Necklace, to get as far from them as possible. None of us were very pleased to see we had not escaped them after all, and some of us would welcome a chance to fight them once again, only this time with your help."

"That, too, is a consideration I will have to bring back to the Morru Qu'aan," Abriele sighed, before turning the conversation to other matters, of less consequence to their respective governments.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

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Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ivra » Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:59 am

Cool story!

Is this map based on the one you planned to use for the SG game? Just with a harder setup and with teams?
A lot of these road signs go missing every year as the tourists collect their trophies. It makes me wonder if this road sign is indeed the most wanted souvenir of Norway...

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Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:50 am

Glad you are enjoying it, Ivra! But, no, I usually start my TARs a fair bit in advance of actually posting anything about them, so that I have a sufficient backlog of posts ready to go that I don't feel a ton of pressure to play (and, more importantly, write) quickly in order to keep the story moving. This map has nothing to do with the recent SG, though I could certainly set up an SG along these lies.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

ZedF
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Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:17 am

Durendal, T047

When our fleet finally cracked the swarm hive at Cygnus, it was a day of celebration. The victory was proof that our navy was capable of taking on a threat, and winning. Nobody paid much attention to the sensor track leaving the system. The angels had mentioned that the swarm could spread, but little concern was given to where they might do so. We were instead focused on gathering together the largest fleet of colonizers we had yet built. We would follow up our victory with expansion to new frontiers.

The frontier world we chose was Durendal, a moderately hospitable world with abundant natural resources, and an asteroid belt potentially rich with ore. It wasn't until our fleet arrived at the world that we recalled the angels' warning. The sensor track we had observed outbound from Cygnus, we now picked up again. It was also bound for Durendal, and would arrive shortly. Our ships, poorly equipped for a fight though they were, opted to defend their charges in space rather than build a defenseless colony on the ground.

Image

The battle of Durendal was no such thing. It was a massacre. Our poorly-armed colony ships were not even equipped with lasers, but with gauss cannon, and could barely hit the insect-like robots that emerged from beneath the wings of the swarm queen.

The fleet tried to close distance with the queen, to get within gauss cannon range of the artificial beast, but there were far too many of the enemy, dancing with impunity about our hapless ships, before turning to strike. And where they struck, our colonists died: lambs to the slaughter.

Image

Moreover, while her escorts formed the majority of the swarm queen's defensive firepower, she was not herself unarmed. Energy beams and torpedoes split the night sky above the planet, seeking out and murdering the last of our colonists in a blaze of destruction.

In the end, nothing remained but silence.

Image

Fools though we had been to ignore their warning, the angels have taken pity on our colonists' plight, and forgiven our error. A fleet of their warships has been dispatched to avenge our dead. They have said they will clear the world of the swarm on our behalf, in exchange for settlement rights at arctic Cygnus, former home of the swarm.

We would send our own warfleet, but they remain at the latter world, lacking sufficient fuel for the journey to Durendal.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

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Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ivra » Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:12 am

Ouch, not a good start! Creating a huge colony fleet to settle your first colony and then lose it all.

You know you can send one colonizer and check for traps and other hazards, right? ;)

I know you know, I just couldn't refrain from putting a little salt in your wound... :twisted: It makes good stories, though.
A lot of these road signs go missing every year as the tourists collect their trophies. It makes me wonder if this road sign is indeed the most wanted souvenir of Norway...

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Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by DervMan » Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:15 am

It's all about the story! :)
Image

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Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:33 am

ivra wrote:You know you can send one colonizer and check for traps and other hazards, right? ;)

Now now, ivra, think about that one for a second, then go back and look at the end of the first post in this thread. ;)
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

ZedF
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Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:26 am

T050

... and so the spread of the humanity through the constellation known as Athena's Necklace continued to be a struggle, hampered by poor planning and mischance. Their colony at Xanthu had only been recently founded, after having previously been delayed as a result of an ancient trap device left behind by the Morrigi centuries previously; now a new attempt would have to be made to colonize Durendal, compunding the already high cost in lives and materiel.

Their Morrigi allies had fared better. Despite a relatively slow start to their colonization program, it was now proceeding nicely, with significant numbers of colonies in three separate clusters. Indeed, they were running low on further colonizable worlds to settle without further increases in technology, or alternatively, success with some of the programs they had finally begun to take control of the ancient asteroid fortresses found scattered throughout their space.

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One option the Morru Khan had strongly considered was that of war with the Hiver princesses occupying the cluster adjacent to his own home cluster. Partly this was motivated by vengeance for the three large tomb complexes that had been found violated in the Hiver sphere of influence; partly, as well, by the desire of his human allies to see the Hivers humbled. The security of his own frontier worlds in the cluster, just now becoming profitable colonies and productive shipyards, was a consideration as well.

But the most compelling rationale for war was the profit motive. Apart from preferring underground dwellings to surface ones, Hiver tastes in colonizable worlds ran quite similarly to Morrigi ones. The Morrigi were ever-mindful of the encroaching Zuligi threat; when considering the value of the Hivers as potential allies, as compared with the value of the worlds they claimed as Morrigi colonies and shipyards to fuel the development of a larger and better-equipped Morrigi navy, the latter seemed far less chancy and more appealing than the former.

The time seemed apt to begin a military campaign to wrest control of the sector from the Hivers. Two sections of modern warships had just relocated from the home cluster to Majipoor, which itself had recently upgraded its shipyards to fully operational status, ready to pump out more colonizers and warships. Moreover, an initial attack had been made at the uncolonized world of Marklar to remove an enemy gate which could have threatened Lagash; this assault had gone quite smoothly, with Morrigi beamer-equipped drones cutting apart the Hiver defense with relative ease, while their carriers avoided most of the return fire through evasion at long range. Finally, the Morrigi had just completed development of a new class of command ship, which they felt would further magnify their already significant combat advantage.

Still, the Morrigi would have to act quickly indeed if they wished to reap enough profit from the Hiver cluster to justify the costs of war, before the Zuligi incursion could begin in earnest...
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

ZedF
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Re: TAR - Angels & Demons

Post by ZedF » Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:59 am

Ekkep, T071

"Hasn't the second flight arrived yet?" Akhelios demanded impatiently. "The assault waits upon their arrival!"

"A thousand apologies, zo'qu'aan," Tanuur, the communications officer, replied. "They have slowed to organize into attack formation and will be on station momentarily."

"Delays, delays," Akhelios muttered irritably. "We should have evicted the dustlings from Ekkep long since. Every moment longer is another wherein the insects may become alert to our presence and intentions."

Tanuur could sense the familiar path the conversation would be likely to take. The zo'qu'aan was a brilliant warleader, but he had little patience, and he did have a tendency to grouse about matters which were beyond his direct control. The communications officer supposed it was one way to vent pre-battle stress. "The two flights you command today in battle represent double the combined power of all ships in the cluster before our arrival from the homeworld to take charge of local defenses, "he replied in a mollifying tone, "and they are all new construction. Building that many warships takes time."

"Time we could not afford. We should have stripped the sector of defenses and built only the assault shuttle carriers new, then backfilled the defenses with new construction, rather than holding our pre-existing drone sections in reserve while the new fleet was built," Akhelios countered. "And we should have prioritized building those shuttle carriers more quickly."

"Perhaps we could have done, zo'qu'aan, with more of the empire's coffers apportioned toward the war effort," Tanuur responded quietly, "but I am certain the Morru Qu'aan has other priorities that also demand funding. Besides, Majipoor and especially Lagash are not rich worlds. You yourself have pointed out that even with unlimited funding, our women could not have built these ships greatly faster. And while we now know, thanks to hindsight, that stripping the sector of defenses in order to prepare an attack fleet might have been possible, it seemed less obvious when this plan was formulated that it might be so. I seem to recall concerns about a gate fleet potentially being sent to Ti'xhik before our colony would be able to defend itself, not to mention the possibility of another attempt to establish a gate at Marklar."

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"You are, of course, correct," Akhelios sighed in acknowledgement. "I am merely concerned about the possibility of a missed opportunity. We could have struck before the dustlings could have developed battle computers of their own, but now, as we approach the planet, long range scans suggest that we are facing more than one class of ship. We may no longer hold the command and control advantage." He paused, then clicked his beak in self-reproach. "I should have ordered the spy ship another two light years away from Ekkep before arranging the rendezvous. It would seem that we have lost strategic surprise this day. Their fleet numbers as many as our own, and doubtless none of theirs are shuttle carriers. Well, it is too late to back out now."

"Shall we broadcast signals for a peaceful resolution of our encroachment, zo'qu'aan?" The communications tech asked, concern in his voice.

Akhelios considered for a moment, but when he spoke, his voice was firm. "No. We have lost the element of surprise, and possibly the tactical advantage of superior command systems. We have only half the number of ship-to-ship combatants as the enemy. But Ekkep has an asteroid belt we can take advantage of, to frustrate enemy missiles and disrupt their combat formations. We still have an advantage in weaponry, maneuverability, and tactics. We shall rely on these to carry the day."

The zo'qu'aan paused, glancing at his readout to ensure all was finally in readiness, then gave the signal to attack. "Send in the drones."

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Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

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